One-woman powerhouse Linda Rodin is the Manhattanite stylist turned beauty entrepreneur who made our lives that little bit better – and simpler – by creating RODIN Olio Lusso. However, her first great love falls somewhere outside of the beauty box: the statement frame. A long-time Cutler and Gross devotee, Rodin’s eyewear repertoire is as ever-changing as her wardrobe, reflecting her unmistakeable personal style and the enviable career that has shaped it. Talking to Marie Wilkinson, design director for the cult eyewear label, she puts her wealth of experience in the frame, via the people, places and pieces that have proved most influential.
WITH SO MANY TALENTS, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
Thank you for the compliment. I would say I'm a hardworking woman who is passionate about her work and her small life.
STYLIST, BEAUTY ENTREPRENEUR, MODEL, BUSINESSWOMAN, STYLE ICON… THE LIST GOES ON!
I was a stylist for almost 35 years. It was a wonderful career - lots of travel and interesting people along the way. Businesswoman makes me laugh a bit because I don't see myself as that really, although now with RODIN Olio Lusso, I am running a business. But of course I have a small team of wonderful people surrounding me. The modelling part and style icon part are really new to me. I did do a bit of modelling 50 years ago when I was living in Italy. So now it's interesting to be in front of the camera again after so many years of styling other people. And the "style icon" moniker – well, I'm so flattered. I've never thought of myself as that.
WHAT WAS YOUR VISION WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER AND HOW DID YOU END UP GETTING INTO FASHION?
I wanted to be a photographer and do fashion. I worked for the great GOSTA Peterson as his assistant in the 1970s. I would do my own photos with borrowed clothing and up and coming models. One day my sister said to me "you know, to be honest, your photos are not too good, but the clothes you dress the models in are always great. Maybe there's a job dressing models". We had never even heard of the word 'stylist' at that time. Little by little I evolved into a stylist.
OTHER THAN A FEW YEARS IN ITALY, YOU’VE LIVED IN NEW YORK ALL YOUR LIFE. HOW HAS THE CITY INFLUENCED YOU AND WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT IT?
I grew up 30 minutes from Manhattan. We would come to the city as teenagers and go around. After three years in Italy, I moved to Manhattan - and have been there since I was 20. I consider myself a true New Yorker. My pace is quick and I'm always curious.
YOUR FABULOUS NEW YORK APARTMENT, WHICH YOU SHARE WITH YOUR LITTLE POODLE, WINKY, IS AN INSPIRATION TO ALL OF US. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO DECORATE IT IN THE WAY THAT YOU HAVE DONE?
Thank you. I love my home. I've been in the same place for 38 years. My mother was quite quirky and an interior designer and also had a wonderful and tiny antique shop. I've been collecting bits and bobs my entire life. I just gravitate to lots of things. I'm a magpie. I never leave the flea market empty handed. And for the last few years, I've discovered I have a bit of a green thumb. So I've become obsessed with plants. I must have about 50 or so now. It's my third full time job after RODIN and Winks. I spend a lot of time caring for all three………….